If you’re looking for somewhere to go for a weekend packed full of adventurous activities, you really don’t need to look any further than the Lake District. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the country and has great motorway links, making it easily accessible. Add that to the fact that there are hundreds of quirky and affordable accommodation options and you have a recipe for a perfect weekend adventure getaway.
There are countless options for things to do to keep you active, but here’s our pick of the most adventurous things to do in the Lake District…
Bag a Wainwright
The Lake District is famous for its fells and one of the most popular pastimes for the locals and tourists alike is peak bagging.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, legendary fell walker and writer Alfred Wainwright documented his expeditions to the summits of all 214 of the Lake District fells. His work is now so highly regarded that those fells are now referred to as the ‘Wainwrights’.
Peak Bagging is the act of following in Wainwright’s footsteps and reaching the summits of all 214 fells. It may take you quite a while to complete the list, but no weekend in the Lakes is complete without bagging at least one.
Scramble Over Striding Edge
If you had to pick just one epic walk to do in the Lake District, the scramble over Striding Edge and up to the summit of Helvellyn would have to be the one.
This grade one scramble has just enough exposure to make it feel like a real mountain adventure but is easy enough to navigate so most beginners with a good level of fitness can take on the challenge.
From the summit of Helvellyn, you can make a circular route by descending via Swirral Edge. This is a great ridge walk in its own right, but from here you have incredible views back across the valley to the imposing arete of Striding Edge, really putting your earlier walk into perspective.
Try Via Ferrata
Set in the stunning landscape of Honister, the Lake District’s Via Ferrata experience is one for the thrillseekers. Via Ferrata translates as ‘the iron way’ or ‘the iron path’, and is an adventure like no other. Using iron cables, ladders and steps, adventurers will make their way up a mountainside, experiencing challenges and obstacles at great heights.
No experience is necessary to take on this challenge, but a good head for heights is a must.
There are two versions of the Via Ferrata experience, the ‘classic’ route which serves as a great introduction, or the Via Ferrata Xtreme, a three-hour adventure that you’ll never forget.
Go Wild Swimming
The popularity of wild swimming has exploded over recent years. There are amazing health benefits to swimming in cold water, and as anyone who has experienced it will tell you, there is an incredible post-swim feel-good factor to this kind of adventure too. A short dip in a cold lake will have your blood pumping, making you feel great all day.
What better place to go wild swimming than the Lake District? As well as the obvious choices of the great lakes, there are also hundreds of small mountain tarns to jump into after an epic hike.
Go Ghyll Scrambling
You might know this activity as Canyoning, but in the Lake District it is known as Ghyll Scrambling. Essentially, ghyll scrambling is all about travelling up and down mountain streams, climbing, swimming, jumping and sliding your way through the canyons and obstacles you’ll find along the way.
This is really is a lot of fun and as you’re going to get soaked anyway, it’s a great thing to do on a rainy day when you’re not quite up for a soggy hike.
There are several places to give it a go in the Lakes, and experiences can range from short taster sessions right up to full-day extreme adventures.
Try a New Paddle Sport
No trip to the Lakes would be complete without actually getting out onto the water and experiencing the stunning landscape from the water.
There are loads of options for getting out on the lakes and kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are available to hire in many locations. If you’ve always fancied giving a new paddle sport a try, this is the time to do it.
Some of the lakes even have small islands to explore. What better adventure than paddling over to a secluded island to stop for a lunch break?
Go Mountain Biking
Naturally, in a place as mountainous as the Lake District, there are some incredible places to go mountain biking.
If you like your trails man-made and convenient then Whinlatter trail centre is the place to go. But if you prefer your mountain biking to be more about exploration and getting off the beaten path then the whole national park is there to be explored.
If you don’t mind a monstrous climb with your bike, Helvellyn is one of the most popular places to go mountain biking in the Lakes. Getting to the summit is the hard part, of course, but those efforts will be rewarded with an incredible descent.
Go Wild Camping
Although wild camping is technically illegal in the Lake District, if you arrive late, depart early and leave no trace, it’s widely accepted.
Spending a night on a mountainside is one of the best ways to forget about the worries and stresses of everyday life, and waking up and opening up your tent to incredible views is an unforgettable experience.
If you’re really lucky you might even wake up to experience a cloud inversion, viewing the surrounding peaks above a layer of cloud.